… competition focuses on environmental protection
Twenty finalists from secondary schools across the country smiled home with awards of cash prizes and scholarships, Tuesday, for this year’s prestigious National Art competition organised by NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for Nigerian Secondary school students.
The competition which attracted 600 entries from 400 schools across the country was brought to a climax with the announcement that 16 year-old Ukaegbu Christopher of Hallel College Boarding, Port Harcourt has emerged the 2015 overall winner, carting away the cash prize of N100,000 and a one year scholarships in the same amount. Abel Joshua a JSS 3 student of Oto Awori Junior Grammar School, Oto-Awori, Lagos State also emerged winner for the junior category of the competition.
Welcoming guests to the event, the Chairman/Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) Mr. Clay Neff represented by Mr Steeve Freman, the company’s Director of Gas, described the competition as one of the activities by CNL dedicated to enhancing the quality of art education in Nigerian secondary schools.
“Our aim is to raise and sustain students’ interest in the study of fine and creative arts while also promoting the spirit of healthy competition,” he said.
Mr Neff was particularly pleased with the standard of this year’s edition of the competition. He recounted: “ In 2005, when Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) set out to organize the maiden edition of this competition, we had no doubt that it was going to be a success. That was because we knew that Nigeria is blessed with talented young men and women.
“Ten years down the road, the level of success and acceptance is truly astounding. This year, we had hundreds of exceptional entries out of which our judges have chosen the most outstanding twenty for the purpose of prize-giving.
“It shows how well the competition has gone in providing our kid-artists, a veritable platform of artistic expression. It is important to note that former winners of the competitor have gone ahead to higher institutions to study fine arts, graphic design, engineering and other courses.”
He added that the theme for this year’s competition – Protecting People and the Environment – aligned with the company’s Core Values which is part of its efforts to further create awareness on the importance of sustainable environment.
“For Chevron, responsible treatment of the environment is fundamental for doing business in Nigeria and everywhere else in the world. We consistently apply tested principles and practices in finding and producing hydrocarbon to ensure minimal impact on the ecosystem. We care about the environment and are committed to be part of the solution to global environmental issues.”
In a goodwill message, the acting Permanent Secretary Mrs H.U. Abdullahi, represented by Rev. Chris. Ugoji, a Principal Director in the ministry, disclosed that the education ministry had supported the competition right from its inception “not only because of itsfocus in children who are future leaders but for the realization that Art Education is important to human development.
“This competition is one of the programmes that would complement our efforts in stimulating our children’s interest in Fine Art,” she further said.
In her remark, the Lagos First Lady Mrs Bolanle Ambode, represented by Mrs Abiodn Olajumoke Opeifa congratulated the winners and finalists of the competition and urged them not to rest on their oars. She further enjoined them to help spread their superior knowledge to other students not only in Art but also other subjects.